News Service of Florida

More than 15,000 lionfish were recently removed from Florida waters as the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has started a more than three-month effort to remove the invasive species from state waters.

Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to put high-water vehicles in position to respond as the National Hurricane Season monitored a large area of showers that extended from the northwestern Caribbean across Cuba and into the Florida peninsula.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Attorney General Pam Bondi is drawing praise from Republicans seeking to replace her after the term-limited state Cabinet member last week took on opioid manufacturers in court.

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Lawyers for an embattled Broward County nursing home failed to show up Monday for a hearing they requested in a public-records legal tangle with the Florida Department of Health.

Andy Teo (Flickr)

The National Rifle Association is appealing a federal judge’s refusal to keep the identity of a 19-year-old Alachua County woman secret in a challenge to a state law that raised the age to purchase rifles and other long guns.

Daylina Miller / Health News Florida

Lawyers for the state asked the Florida Supreme Court to stay out of a legal battle, at least for now, over whether a lung-cancer patient can grow his own marijuana.

Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner this week asked the high court to step in while the dispute is under appeal.

A Tallahassee judge in April ruled that Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana for “juicing.”

Redner and his lawyers maintain that juicing is the best way to prevent his lung cancer, now in remission, from recurring.

Center for American Progress

Premiums for health insurance plans sold on the federal marketplace are expected to increase by nearly 16.9 percent in Florida next year due to changes in the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis released Friday.

Humana.com

After scoring a big victory in a statewide Medicaid managed-care procurement, Humana and Jon Bussey, who served as its regional director of corporate affairs, have parted ways. 

Wikimedia Commons

A regulatory fight between acupuncturists and physical therapists over “dry needling” will be hammered out by a state judge.

Governor's Press Office

Local officials across Florida shouldn’t rely on the federal government to be on the ground everywhere a day or days after the next natural disaster, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday during the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes.

NPR

An additional 10 municipalities have joined a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law that imposes strict penalties on local governments and officials who violate a restriction on regulating guns and ammunition. 

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior is meeting with 12 managed-care companies that filed petitions with the state last week, as he tries to dissuade them from legal fights over the state’s decisions to award five-year Medicaid contracts that could be worth up to $90 billion.

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In the latest twist in months of legal battling after Hurricane Irma, an embattled Broward County nursing home has accused the Florida Department of Health of not properly complying with a judge’s order to turn over public records.

MilitaryMark2007 / Flickr

After farmers and ranchers sustained heavy damage in Hurricane Irma, candidates for state agriculture commissioner are offering a variety of approaches to make Florida’s food chain more resilient before future natural disasters.

Flickr Creative Commons

Part of a new Florida law touted as a way to end years of disputes over trauma centers is being challenged by a Miami-based hospital.

Amy Green/WMFE

Visit Florida President Ken Lawson and Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, are among scheduled panelists for a Florida congressional delegation hearing Thursday on drilling off the state’s coasts.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic U.S. House members Thursday called for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reject a move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to cut $98 million by trimming the length of time people have to apply for the Medicaid program.

“I rise here today because the state of Florida has again proposed to harm thousands of seniors and folks with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for their health care,” Nelson, a Democrat who faces an election challenge this year from Scott, said on the Senate floor.

djtrumpnetwork SOsos / Flickr

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is asking a Leon County circuit judge to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges a recently approved ban on firearm “bump stocks” is an unconstitutional taking of property. 

Twelve managed-care companies challenging the state’s award of tens of billions of dollars in Medicaid contracts have spelled out their arguments about why Florida officials were wrong in the handling of the coveted multi-year deals.

A ban on workplace vaping is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mike Mozart / Flickr

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission formally concluded its work Wednesday, sending eight proposed constitutional amendments to Secretary of State Ken Detzner for placement on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.

“After holding more than 15 public hearings, the most in CRC history, and reviewing thousands of public comments, we submitted a compelling set of transformational proposals that have the potential to benefit Floridians for generations to come,” commission Chairman Carlos Beruff said in a statement.

Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet are expected next month to consider whether to spend nearly $11 million to help limit future development on four ranches and farms in four counties.

The proposals would add 8,388 acres to the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which through the use of “conservation easements” restricts future development but allows owners to continue using land for such things as agricultural operations.

Wikimedia Commons

A hospital taxing district in Volusia County wants the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that could block plans for a new hospital outside the district’s boundaries.

The Halifax Hospital Medical Center taxing district filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court after Circuit Judge Christopher France last month said the district does not have the legal authority to issue bonds for the 96-bed hospital project in Deltona, according to documents posted Tuesday on the Supreme Court website.

Wikimedia Commons

In a case stemming from a child getting rushed to a hospital after a traffic accident, a federal appeals court Tuesday backed an air-ambulance firm in a dispute about whether the amount paid for helicopter services should be limited by Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law.

Medical Insurance Claim Form sorrounded by pen, calculator and stethoscope.
Flickr Creative Commons

A top Florida Medicaid official has notified the federal government that Gov. Rick Scott’s administration provided incorrect information about a proposed cut to the Medicaid program.

Wikimedia Commons

In a decision that could have broad implications, an appeals court has sided with a defendant who argued that a controversial 2017 change to Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to his case.

Lit Cigarette
Pixabay

About three months after an appeals court upheld the dismissal of 73 lawsuits against tobacco companies, plaintiffs’ attorneys are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up the dispute.

The attorneys filed a notice last week as a first step in seeking Supreme Court review, according to documents posted Monday on the court’s website. T

he 1st District Court of Appeal in February backed the dismissal of the lawsuits and refused to allow attorneys to amend the complaints because the clients had died before the cases were filed.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida / WUSF

Incoming Florida Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson sent a letter Monday to the federal government accusing Gov. Rick Scott’s administration of falsifying the record to show support for a $98 million Medicaid reduction and asked for a “thorough review” of the proposed cut, which would impact an estimated 39,000 people. 

Older hand holding another hand
NPR

The state Agency for Health Care Administration failed to verify that nursing homes properly corrected deficiencies cited by agency staff in 2015, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s office. 

Wikimedia Commons

A dozen municipal electric utilities will purchase power from a solar-energy project in Central Florida that is expected to start operating in 2020, the Florida Municipal Power Agency announced Friday. 

Wikimedia Commons

Acupuncturists and physical therapists are waging a war --- over needles.

As a growing opioid epidemic has made patients leery of continued use of the drugs, the Florida Board of Physical Therapy has proposed a rule that would authorize certain physical therapists to treat patients with a “dry needling” technique.

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